Patience is one character trait that I feel blessed to possess.
Patience is my constant, faithful companion no matter where I travel, down whichever road my embroidery leads me.
This time I really needed Patience since Mrs. Rose was taking me right into doll making territory and I had no idea what to do next. I needed her more than ever.
One might be tempted to think of Patience as a passive activity... a waiting-around for something or someone. In reality, a lot of work is being done when I'm patient and I'd liken it more to a period of concentrated strength.
When last we left, I was heading to a mentoring session with Canby Robertson, needlework designer and teacher. Unbeknownst to me, Canby had begun sculpting faces for dolls one weekend after she and her cousin sat down to watch a video by doll artist Akira Blount, Art Dolls: An instructional Documentary Part I: Heads and Hands.
Akira Blount is an award-winning doll artist. And though her video is no longer available, I did see that you could rent it on SmartFlix for $9.99. If ever you wanted to learn soft sculpting and techniques for heads and hands...I highly recommend it.
So...while Canby was sculpting doll faces using Akira's method, I was struggling to sculpt my little profile face into an old lady face. When Canby realized this she said, "Susan, you have to watch this video. I know it will help you."
And so, she loaned me her DVD and I have been changed for the better. I was amazed at the sequencing of stitches that Akira Blount had perfected over time to properly sculpt the features...how to take one stitch from the corner of the mouth to the ears to get the proper curvature of the mouth, how to sculpt a nostril, an eye socket...etc.
That Buddhist proverb comes to mind..."When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
Lucky for me, both Canby and Akira had shown up just in the nick of time.
They both had helpful suggestions for shading the face...the video recommends using burnt omber and ochre for enhancing detail with an emphasis on not overdoing it...
Canby pointed out the use of a purplish light brown color to use as undertones around the eyes and mouth...this was brilliant (the color is where the brush tip is sitting in the pic below)...
This color helped to give the right purplish/bluish cast that real skin tends to have...especially older folks.
Likewise, she noted that often the cheek, nose and chin highlight should contain a bit of yellow. Again, not something I would have ever known on my own and yet it seems to work. I used both colored pencils and chalk to achieve the facial shading...
Originally I had planned on embroidering the eye but I was concerned that embroidery stitches would crush the sculpting of some of the features of the face so I decided to paint the eye and eyelashes instead.
Right now, Mrs. Rose is in pieces with excitement in anticipation of meeting all of you. Jack felt sorry for her bald head so he loaned her his red hat...
Now she's ready to cheer on Boston.
And me? I'm grateful that I'm over this hump, that my teachers showed up when I needed them, and that my vision is starting to come to life. There's lots more to come with hair, eyeglasses, shoes and clothes...
Not to mention getting her old body put together.
Patience really is a virtue. Happy Monday everyone.